our hospital, our stories Lifting Spirits with Music

“Everyone likes music,” says Dave. “Especially people who are in the hospital and maybe need a few minutes of something nice to brighten their day.”

Inside the bright atrium of the Active Treatment Centre at the Royal Alexandra Hospital sits an old upright piano that perhaps has seen better days. Hundreds of patients, staff members, and visitors pass by it every day. However, during the week it comes alive when the talented hands of Dave Richmond tickle the ivories for an hour or so.

A licenced journeyman in the automotive trade, Dave is also a self-taught pianist. When he has some spare time, Dave likes to bring his talents to the Royal Alex. The beautiful music he plays encourages smiles and curious looks from passersby, who stop to take a moment to listen.

When asked why he plays at the hospital, Dave says it’s all about lifting spirits.

“Everyone likes music,” says Dave. “Especially people who are in the hospital and maybe need a few minutes of something nice to brighten their day.”

Dave also spends time on the piano at other health and wellness facilities, including the Cross Cancer Institute and Ronald McDonald House. He plays a mixture of piano pieces, including classical compositions like “Für Elise” and the old Canadian favourite “Music Box Dancer”.

“I’ve been doing this for a number of years,” explains Dave. “When I have a day off or some time to spare, it’s fun to play music. I think people don’t expect to hear something like this in a hospital, so it comes as a nice surprise.”

Judging from the smiles on people’s faces and the applause he receives, it looks like everyone agrees.